Anchorage Reads 2021 Launches February 1st

Anchorage Reads is a community led program to promote reading, literacy and community-building by inspiring people of different ages and backgrounds to talk about the same book.

Groups and individuals are encouraged to participate by reading the book, attending events or organizing their own.

This year, we have selected Stamped from the Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. The Anchorage Public Library works to ensure that all people in Anchorage have free and equal access to information, and this goal cannot be achieved without addressing racial and social inequity. By choosing Stamped and Stamped from the Beginning, Anchorage Reads and the Anchorage Public Library seek to build a community where we can learn from each other and work together to create a better future for everyone. 

Scroll down for a complete list of Anchorage Reads events, suggested supplemental reading and film lists, a reader’s guide, and much more!

Getting a copy

You can check out a copy of either book from the Anchorage Public Library. 

Stamped from the Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

Reading & discussion guide

Download the reading guides using the links below. These reading guides were created by Youth4Change, a BIPOC youth group facilitated by Story Works Alaska. 

download section 1

download section 2

Download section 3

Book club discussions

Join book club discussions to talk about what you're learning with other community members. These will be facilitated by community leaders and each month we'll discuss a different section of the book. You are welcome to join for any of the book clubs that interest you, whether it's one or all of them.

You are also encouraged to organize your own book club discussion with friends, family, at your workplace, at your church. 

Teens who want to participate in a teen only book club contact our Teen Services Librarian to join: TeenUnderground@anchorageak.gov

Meeting times for book clubs to be announced. Links to join the virtual book club meetings will be posted here.

Thursday, February 18, 6 - 7 PM
The Origin of Racist Ideas

At this book club discussion, we discussed Part 1 of Stamped from the Beginning and Section 1 of Stamped, both of which cover the origin and development of racist ideas over the years 1415-1728. 

Thursday, March 18, 6 - 7:30 PM
Created Equal

At this book club discussion, we discussed Part 2 of Stamped from the Beginning and Section 2 of Stamped, both of which cover the founding of the United States and the formation of its formative documents over the years 1743-1826. 

Thursday, April 15, 6 - 7:30 PM
Ready for Freedom

At this month's book club discussion, we will be discussing Part 3 of Stamped from the Beginning and Section 3 of Stamped, both of which cover the the arc from abolition movements, the Civil War, and Reconstruction over the years 1826-1879. You can read either book to participate. Please register at the link below starting April 1.

Register here

Thursday, May 20, 6 - 7:30 PM
Birth of a Nation & Jim Crow

At this month's book club discussion, we will be discussing Part 4 of Stamped from the Beginning and Section 4 of Stamped, both of which cover the evolution of the country after the Civil War and the implementation of Jim Crow laws over the years 1868-1963. You can read either book to participate. Please register at the link below starting May 1.

Register here

Thursday, June 17, 6 - 7:30 PM
Civil Rights & Beyond

At this month's book club discussion, we will be discussing Part 5 and the Epilogue of Stamped from the Beginning and Section 5 and the Afterword of Stamped, both of which cover the Civil Rights movement and beyond from 1963 to today. You can read either book to participate. Please register at the link below starting June 1. 

register here


Panel discussions

Panel discussions will be hosted by community partners and will feature community leaders who will discuss the topics covered in both books with a particular focus on how issues impact Alaska. Discussions are live at the listed times below and recordings of each discussion will be made available.

Sunday, February 21, 7 - 8 PM
Race, Health & Healthy Communities

In this panel discussion co-hosted by the Alaska Black Caucus, we heard from Margo Bellamy, Dr. Ian Hartman, and Valerie Davidson about the intersection of race and health, particularly in Alaska. 

watch recording

Tuesday, March 9, 7 - 8 PM
Education & Racism

This all youth panel discussed the legacies of racism and historical trauma in the education system. This event was co-hosted by Youth4Change, a group of BIPOC youth who seek to address systemic racism in schools by uplifting youth voices. 

Thursday, April 22, 6-7:30 PM
Race & Policing

In this panel discussion co-hosted by YWCA Alaska, we will hear from Jacqueline Shepherd, Jovell Rennie, and a representative from the Anchorage Police Department who will discuss the impacts of racism on policing. 

Register here

Wednesday, May 12, 6:30 - 8 PM
Protest

In this panel discussion co-hosted by the Anchorage Museum, we will hear from artists and activists about protests against racism, with particular focus on the protests that took place during the summer of 2020. 

Date TBD
Housing, Lending, and the Economic Impacts of Racism

Thursday, June 24, 7-8:30 PM
Race & Criminal Justice

In this panel discussion co-hosted by the ACLU of Alaska, we will hear from community members on the impacts of the criminal justice system on our communities. 

Further resources

Here are more resources to learn about race, racism, and social justice.

resources for adults

resources for kids